Rarely do people need an excuse to jet off and see the world, especially when there are so many wonderful sights out there. When they return, they will have funny tales and intense nostalgia, which stay with them forever. Yet, there is much more to traveling than creating memories, as there are numerous benefits it can bring you. Even the shortest trip will open many doors for you that you might not expect.

It helps you break out of your bubble

No matter how educated you think you are, there is always more to learn. If you have stayed in the same country your whole life, you will never truly understand the way the world works. Traveling gives you a fresh perspective on life, as each new destination allows you to see how community and culture blooms somewhere else.

People usually find that it challenges misconceptions they may have had about others before traveling. In many ways, travel also opens your eyes up to how much poverty there is in the world, which is something that doesn’t cross peoples’ minds until they see it. Seeing this pushes travelers to volunteer in sustainable, charitable organizations in poverty-ridden countries after visiting, so they can make a real difference to those who need help.

You learn to embrace the unknown

It is widely acknowledged that traveling never goes to plan, even if you organize every moment until the last detail. Unfortunately, this can cause stress and worry in most people, who sometimes swear never to travel again. Once you realise that this uncertainty is part of what makes traveling so great, you will never look back. Late flights, over-booked hostels, not knowing the TSA liquids rules for travel, and crazy cab drivers are only a few of the surprises you can expect.

When you learn to laugh about them, the experience becomes another funny story, rather than a disaster. If you keep an open mind, you could find that the best moments of your trip have room to come alive. Sunsets on hidden beaches, skinny dipping in crashing waterfalls, and spontaneous nights out are all wonder that occur when you say yes to the unknown.

It enhances your career

Some people like to think that long travel trips can hinder your career options, but, in reality the opposite is true. Traveling teaches you many things, from how to communicate well in tough situations, to letting your creativity flow at a moment’s notice. Most of all, it helps you build confidence, which is a skill highly valued in most professions.

If you are traveling somewhere for a long time, you can even learn the native language to add to your resume. With globalization increasingly dominating the job market, you will find it boosts your chances at following an international career path. The only catch is that you must show potential employers how traveling has made you into a well-rounded individual.

You learn what you like- and what you don’t

No one likes to admit it, for fear of fitting into a cliché, but you do find yourself when you are traveling. It is a strange but welcome phenomenon to uncover parts of yourself that you never knew existed, in locations dotted halfway across the world. Whether you like it or not, this ultimately happens to everyone.

Most people find it to be equal parts liberating and exhilarating, but it is natural to feel scared about what you might learn. It could be that Pad Thai is your new favorite dish, that you are stronger than you think, or that swimming in the ocean at sunset is something you wish you could do every day. You will also learn what you don’t like, and there is nothing wrong with that.

It’s good for your mental health

Over the years, there have been countless studies carried out on how traveling impacts your mental wellbeing. Despite throwing some stressful situations in your way, traveling reduces stress and helps you find calmness. Such situations also make you more resilient to hard times. Those who suffer from Depression may find that exposing their minds to more sun and new cultures gives them moments of happiness they otherwise only dream of.

Remember to pamper yourself at a relaxing adults-only resort when you feel low, so you can reflect and recuperate in a safe space. Though you should never see travel as a cure, there is no denying that you can find some reprieve when on the road. The best thing is that these benefits will stay with you long after you have come home.

You make lifelong friends

You’d be forgiven for thinking that only fleeting friendships hold a place in your life when you are traveling. However, the age of social media has made it easier than ever to stay in contact with those who make your travels unforgettable. In some cases, you may be able to meet up with your friends on your next trip, or visit them in their hometown.

The possibilities are endless, especially when you have some incredible memories strengthening your bond. Some of these friendships can last only a few months, but if you put in the effort, don’t be surprised if they stay with you for a lifetime. Solo travelers are likely to experience this joy the most, as they find themselves thrown together with other, like minded people.

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